Regulators give utilities final OK to use tax savings for storm costs

Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co. both reached settlements with the Office of Public Counsel and other consumer advocate groups on the issue in April.
SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
 Linemen from Duke Energy work to restore power along 22nd Ave South and 38th Street South in St. Petersburg after the high winds of Hurricane Irma knocked out power .
SCOTT KEELER | Times Linemen from Duke Energy work to restore power along 22nd Ave South and 38th Street South in St. Petersburg after the high winds of Hurricane Irma knocked out power .
Published May 21

State regulators gave Tampa Bay utilities final approval Tuesday to use their 2017 tax savings to cover recovery costs from a series of storms.

By using the tax savings, Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co. canceled out what would have been significant pass-through costs for their ratepayers. Both reached settlements with the Office of Public Counsel and other consumer advocate groups on the issue in April.

Under the agreements, Tampa Electric will use its $91 million in savings to cover restoration costs for Hurricanes Hermine, Matthew and Irma, as well as tropical storms Erika and Colin, and replenish its hurricane funds. Duke Energy will use its $484 million in tax savings to pay for restoration costs for Hurricanes Irma and Nate and replenish its hurricane funds.

Tampa Electric customers will get a refund of about $8 on their January bills as part of the settlement, which comes from tax savings left over after the storms are paid off.

Contact Malena Carollo at [email protected] or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo.

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